AET Fault Diagnosis and Condition Monitoring for Diesel Engines

With the support of the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), Advanced Engine Technology Ltd. (AET) has developed an Engine Condition Monitor for 6 cylinder in-line high speed diesel engines on behalf of the DND/North Warning System Office (NWSO). The Engine Condition Monitor (ECM) can detect any combination of cylinder faults in the diesel driven generator sets under continually varying loads.

The ECM is based on the Instantaneous Crankshaft Angular Velocity (ICAV) technology initially developed and patented by the National Research Council of Canada, and further developed by AET. As the worldwide licensee of this technology, AET proposes to develop and commercialize the ICAV technology for other engine generator set applications.

The ECM uses rugged, non-contacting Hall-effect sensors to measure flywheel velocity by sensing the gear teeth. Flywheel speed fluctuations are used to calculate cylinder to cylinder relative power balance. It has been shown that cylinder power balance can be predicted within ± 2% RMS over a wide range of varying loads.

Figure 1. Shows one of the NWSO diesel engine generator sets used for ECM development purposes at AET


Figure 2. Shows two sensors mounted on the bell housing of a Lister Petter HL-6 engine
The ECM uses a Windows® - based interface to display engine condition data. Data can be transferred from the ECM via a satellite link. Maintenance staff do not need to visit remote sites to monitor engine conditions. Current engine conditions can be viewed, or historical data can be used to assess trends in cylinder balance. This information can be used to remotely diagnose problems and schedule maintenance. Cylinder pressure measurements are not required.

The ECM is currently operating at North Warning System Short Range Radar sites in North Bay, Ontario, and Cambridge Bay, NWT.

Benefits of the Engine Condition Monitor include:

  • Fault Conditions on High Speed Diesel Engines can now be Diagnosed and Cylinders Power Balanced
  • Reduces Diagnostic and Maintenance Costs
  • Robust & Needs No Calibration
  • Potential Cost Effective Remote Monitoring of ECM via Satellite Link
  • Automated Measurement and Storage of Past ECM Data
  • Uses Rugged, Non-contact Hall Effect Sensors
  • Reduced Fuel consumption and Exhaust Emissions
  • Low Capital & Installation Cost